27 August 2014

How I became a working mummy: my professional background

I've always thought that learning a bit more about the blogger/writer behind the posts and pictures is interesting, so I figured it would be good to explain a bit more about who I am and about my background.


mirror selfies of work wear
Blogging old school style - mirror OOTD's! This is what I wear at work.


I moved to London in 2006 to start my BA. I didn't really know what I was doing when I applied to university, and I applied to a wide variety of "fun" courses. I got accepted to a few universities, in London and in Scotland and Wales, and after lots of Googling and university ranking lists decided to go to London. Over the summer time I started to think a bit more about what I want to do and how to achieve it. Once I got to the university I promptly changed my degree into something I felt was more business oriented and would help me to have a professional career.

At university I became super-focused on starting to build my career. No Sir, I wasn't going to just go to university and learn something academic and write a few essays, I would build up my skills and explore different professions. I started my first year with some investment banking and law work experience. Determined to tick all the recruitment boxes for future summer internships I ran a large university society with links across the business community in London. During my summer holidays I did a bit of project management, a bit of finance, a bit of law and a bit of academic research, just to try out some different avenues. I also traveled abroad, volunteered, and worked at my university. As you can imagine, I was rather busy doing it all and trying to keep my grades up. It was quite an interesting (and slightly stressful) time to be in London with the financial sector (and all the adjoining sectors) in a melt-down. Lots of friends got burned, but eventually things started to get better and people started to find jobs.

After graduating with MSc, I started to look for work opportunities. A small company hired me to do research and off I went on building my career. After a while I felt like I needed something more, a bigger employer, and more opportunities. I was also aching to start a family. It all made for quite an easy decision - as my career felt like it was in a bit of a hiatus, we thought it would be a perfect time to start trying for a baby. Lo and behold, pretty soon I was pregnant, and waiting for my maternity leave to start.

more work outfits pictures
My work week OOTD - last one is the casual Friday outfit

Once on my maternity leave I started to think of other options. What would I do? Would I go back? I always thought that I would take a short maternity leave, maybe a few months, and then move back to work. After meeting our little sweetheart it all changed - I couldn't leave our little bub, not yet anyway, and decided to stay home as long as it would be financially feasible. Mind you, as I only got SMP I knew it wouldn't be for too long. I didn't want to go back to my old place of work so I started to look for other opportunities. 

During my maternity leave I started my job hunt. It was a long slog of applications, psychometric tests, interviews, and full-on assessment centres... Eventually those long nights of typing cover letters, those long buggy walks my husband did that allowed me to concentrate on calculating percentages, and those quick breast-pumping sessions in the toilets in between multiple interviews paid off and I got an offer letter.

At times, I wished I had an intra-venous caffeine drip. After staying up all night with a teething baby, going to those interviews all bleary-eyed was one of the most exhausting things I had done. But I succeeded. In fact, I did it twice, and was in the great position of choosing between two offers. After lots of thinking and lots of emailing back and fro and calling both places and making multiple pros and cons lists I made up my mind, negotiated a start date to coincide with the end of my SMP, and focused on enjoying my last few months back home with my baby.

pictures of my work bag and shoes
And some details - I'm no style blogger (for obvious reasons...) but didn't want to publish such a long post without any (sort of) relevant pictures

After all this waffle I guess you might be interested in what I am doing now. Well, I work in an analytical role for a large employer in central London. Let's leave it at that, as I've never been a fan of mixing my professional and social networking spheres together. But I can say that, although being a working mummy doesn't come without its challenges, I am very happy where I am and see it as a great place to build a rewarding career and little by little move on to bigger and better things.

So that's that for my professional background.


Would you be interested in reading about my musings on combining motherhood and a career?




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4 comments:

  1. I think it is so important to remember that many working mothers NEED to work for the social stimulation and mental challenge as much as for the money. I love how you described your university self (sunch an over achiever!!) and this post rally shows the real you! I just found you through the #allaboutyou linkup and if you'd like to linkup these outfit pictures on my blog I'd love to have you. I host a weekly real mom street style linkup please feel free to join!


    Angie from reasonstodress.com

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    1. Oh thanks for letting me know about your linky! I'll have to check it out, that sounds really nice. I don't think I've done any other mummy outfit photos but maybe I should :)

      And yes, while I definitely need the money, for me it is also important that I get to be active and develop myself. Makes me feel like myself. Although, say, if I was a SAHM, I would have plenty of other avenues to develop myself too, and I am sure I would be quite active in volunteering and stuff you can fit around looking after your kids.

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  2. It's always really interesting to learn about the blogger behind the blog! Thanks for linking this up to #AllAboutYou - as a former FTWM (full time working mom) I can concur that it has it's challenges, and also that writing about combining the two felt quite cathartic. Life has changed now - I have 2, and husband travels so much that my former job where I travelled a fair bit also just was no longer compatible with family life. It was a hard choice but I have no regrets at all.

    Mama-andmore.com

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    1. Travelling for work is difficult - I am lucky that my job involves no travel. I've done a couple of trips, but that has been the exception to the rule and no way compulsory, but if it was integral part of my work it would be difficult. Especially if you don't have a stay at home partner. I guess you'll have to do what is right for your family, and sometimes changing jobs is necessary :)

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